Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Round Table Returns

Here at These Gentlemen, we strive to be, above all other things, gentlemanly. This is evidenced by our dedication towards being articulate, possessing rapier wit, shrewdly and urbanely commenting on the world around us, and, in this feature, civilized discourse.

On the go-ahead from he whom would be analogous to Sir Arthur Pendragon, our own Jason Schlafstein, I assume the role of Sir Constantine, the knight who became king following Arthur's death. Starting up again this week and continuing on for the foreseeable future, These Gentlemen will put aside some time each week to become Gentlemen of the Round Table. A question will be posed, and the Gentlemen shall provide their responses in a forum allowing for response and friendly debate.

This week, the Gentlemen tackle their pet peeves. This question was the subject of some discussion amongst the Table, as the original wording was "If you could eliminate one of your pet peeves, what would it be?" Hence, confusion broke out over whether this meant eliminate it as in wipe this thing of annoyance from the Earth, or eliminate as in get over the mentality that makes you hate this thing. Some Gentlemen answered the question one way, some both. Without further ado, let us delve into our responses.

David Pratt, the Aforementioned King Constantine

Were I to choose one pet peeve I have to eliminate, it would be seeing things out of place. Whenever I see things disorganized or misaligned I HAVE to fix them. I don't know how much time I've wasted in my life just because I've got this touch of OCD making me really irritated when things aren't where they belong.

That said, people should really organize things more carefully.

John Ozkirbas, Analogue of Percival

Peeve to Scour From the Face of the Earth: Rubbernecking

I hate rubbernecking. I hate it more than I hate it when pedestrians stand in the middle of the street, only to look at me dumbfounded when I pass them in my car. I understand the draw - the instinctual need to view the carnage resulting from a rousing game of bumper tag can sometimes be overpowering. And, yes, it's significantly safer to drive past an accident at a slower, more forgiving speed. People (and their kids) tend to do things like panic and run out into the middle of the road. Or debris may need to be avoided. But, that's not why people do it. No, people are far more interested in "OMG! Wat haPP3nD1!1!" and that is not the proper excuse to do 15 mph in a 60 mph zone. Because at that point you're getting in my way. You're aggravating other drivers on the road. You're making the general environment on the road hazardous for everyone. All because you couldn't ignore the fact you were curious. And you slowed down, so the person behind you is going to look. And the next person. And the next person. AD INFINITUM.

Peeve to Get Over: Answering the question I've just asked an authority figure like I was asking you.

It's the situation where you've put your neck out to participate, to clear up some confusion, and that guy behind you (you know him) just has to chime in. To let you know he knows. And the sick thing is? He thinks he's helping. Or at least trying to make it look that way. Maybe I feel like he thinks he's better than me and I don't like that. Or maybe he could really just be saying anything and could be totally wrong. I ask the authority figure because I trust the authority figure. And if the authority figure doesn't know, I can live with that. But, if the authority figure doesn't know and chime-in-guy's acting like he does, I don't know if he's actually correct. He thinks he is. And he certainly might sound like it. But, there's no reasonable guarantee. And, of course, I'm going to remember it. Leaving me more confused than before I asked. Yeah, it sounds a little immature. It's a little maddening. And, I definitely need to get over it. Maybe. Or other people should stop doing it. But, that's probably not going to happen.

Max Nova, Keeper of Merlin's Beard

One pet peeve of mine that i wish I didn't have:

I'm way to sensitive to sound. I wish I wasn't so easily irritated by external music or the stomp of roommates walking above my room. There are many times where I wish I just didn't notice sound so much.

One pet peeve I wish would actually go away:

I think probably my rant about driving. I wish people would actually use their turn signal and horn as God/Spaghetti Monster intended. It's so easy!

Brittany Graham, The Lady in the Lake

It's not so much a pet peeve as a compulsion, but I would eliminate my hatred for flipped shirt sleeves and uneven collars, because other people seem to get so much satisfaction from doing it on purpose to upset me, so it happens a lot.

Damien Nichols, The Green Knight

One of my worst pet peeves is when people don't treat IM conversations like face to face conversations. I wish it didn't annoy me so much, but I get so frustrated when I THINK I'm in a riveting conversation with somebody only to be ignored/neglected for like 20 minutes out of the blue. As if the concept that we are exchanging thoughts in real time should be any less significant in a digital medium rather than in person or over the phone. The "idle" status indicator is helpful, but it's kinda backhanded ya know? Like "by the way I'm gonna have to disappear for a few minutes in 10 minutes ago."

Maybe there should be more options for your availability status to help demystify what is going on on the other side of the digital tubes. To that end I recommend adding two new status options to the standard list of available, busy, and invisible: multitasking and clusterfucked. With the addition of multitasking I will know not to expect rapt attention to my every word and will be less likely to give it, which is totally fine. And clusterfucked lets me know to limit my attempts at conversation to legitimate concern and sincere condolences.

That being said, maybe I should just stop spending so much time on teh Gchatz and live my life. I officially have friends whose image in my head is their profile picture. That can't be good.

Sir DinaDan Strauss

I go nuts when I hear teeth scraping across wood. Like, even with popsicle sticks. Ugh. Awful. I could certainly do without that.

Ali Daniels, The Lady Guinevere

I will be the first person to tell you how unreasonable this pet peeve is, and that's why it's the one I'd like to get rid of. I hate being left out of things. It irritates me in the worst way, and then I end up down in the dumps for the rest of the day. Often I know it's not purposeful, just incidental that I wasn't thought of, but I can't help taking it personally sometimes. It's stupid things too. Recently, a friend tagged 18 of my friends in a note on facebook, and I immediately thought, "Well if it involves so many of my other friends, shouldn't it involve me too?" Stupid, and I'd like to be rid of it.

My eradicate pet peeve: People who are running more than 5 minutes late for a restaurant reservation who don't call the restaurant to tell them. You're throwing off our groove. Make the call, or get eradicated.

Stephen Bragale, Often mistaken for Sir Tristan

My biggest pet peeve is when ice cubes melt together and form a large chunk of ice. It's bad enough when it happens with a bag of ice and you have to break it all down, but what's even worse is when it happens in a glass. If they melt together in a cup then I have to deal with balancing the ice and making sure it doesn't slide into my face. If I could prevent this from happening, or the annoying feeling that follows when it happens, I'm confident that the recession would instantaneously end.

We thank ye, good yeomen and ladies fair, and hope you will join us next week as we Gentlemen of the Round Table continue our noble deeds.


B.Graham said...

Interesting, Sir Green Knight. I actually hate it when people DO treat IM conversations like face to face conversations. Call me old fashioned, but I think face to face conversations should be treated differently, and better, than other media.

Ozkirbas said...

Heh. Everytime I see Dan's response - I think about beavers.

David Pratt said...

An interesting experiment would be closing Dan in a room full of beavers building a dam.

Damo said...

@Brit, doesn't get much more old fashioned than being some tart in a pond throwing swords at people. :-p

B.Graham said...

@Damo - Touche.